Those who were not guided about what "respect" means often believe that it's the same as fear, or the same as admiration. They are prone to treating other people who they DON'T FEAR or ADMIRE with a lack of basic civility, courtesy, manners, or professionalism.

They will do this regularly in personal and social situations, but they will ALSO do this in any kind of BUSINESS situations.

This means that they will pay a hired person whom they "respect" on time, but they often will NOT pay a person whom they do NOT "respect" on time, or even at all.

It means that they will treat one customer with proper service, but they will treat another customer with IMPROPER service, speaking to them in a disrespectful, condescending, or absent manner, or even not doing their job, or worse yet, purposely "screwing" the person out of money.

It means that if they're in healthcare (or mental healthcare), they will treat one patient well, and another patient with disdain. It doesn't matter if they're a physician, a nurse, a therapist, an aid, or a caregiver.

It means that if they're a teacher or instructor, they will treat one student well, and treat another as if they're incapable, unwanted, or invisible.

It means that they won't respect the position of their manager, supervisor, or boss if the person doesn't align with their prejudices and biases; they are likely to "rebel" against them like a teen rebelling against a parent.

It means that they will treat one employee well, and another unfairly and with disdain.

It means that if they're still a youth, they see only certain adults (whom they either FEAR or ADMIRE) as having "real" authority, and that they "don't have to listen to" other adults, including other parents, teachers, store owners or employees, officers, adult relatives, etc. (They're usually following along with the bias issues of the adults in their lives).


A lot of people have the meaning of "respect" backwards, and it may actually be due to specific events and "ideals" that came out of the sixties era.

For example one of the "ideals" that was circulated was about allowing children to "Lead" adults.

Allowing children to find their own strengths, interests, and talents seems to be an important part of responsible parenting and teaching. Telling a child that they "should" or "shouldn't" be interested in a particular hobby, activity, or career because of their sex or ancestry would be control, and punishing a child for a parent or teacher's own emotional reactions, instead of for actually breaking a rule or law, is also control.

HOWEVER, simply NOT giving a child rules or consequences, and giving them whatever they want, allowing them to do whatever they feel like doing, and only giving them praise but no disapproval for breaking rules or for inappropriate behavior is simply teaching them Entitlement.  Which leads straight to having Control issues, Superiority issues, Domination issues, and even Narcissism.

The child is being denied guidance in developing the ability to see, care about, or respect other people, or other people's boundaries.
The child is being taught to expect others to cater to their wants and emotions.

Often, the child is NOT being taught that biases such as racism, sexism, or classism are the least bit wrong, and that whatever "type" of person the child is (the child's sex, ancestry, rich or poor, etc) is SUPERIOR to other "types" of humans.


Respect is not fearing another person, or admiring them.
It's not about another person having authority over others, or being "greater" or "better" or "tougher" than others.
When we are respectful, we recognize another person (or animal, or plant, or anything outside of ourselves) AS REAL AND VALID, just as they are, all by themselves.
It means we do NOT try to CONTROL, scare, hurt, provoke, boss around, or dominate another person (or animal).

When we RESPECT a Grizzly Bear, for example, we accept the bear for what it is, just as it exists in the world. That's not because of the size and strength of the bear, it's because WE are CAPABLE of seeing the bear as VALID and REAL, without OUR input or opinion.  We don't try to SHAME the bear for doing what it does, and we don't try to MAKE the bear change, and act like a different animal.
If the Grizzly Bear chased us and tried to harm us, then we would have every right to defend ourselves. But when the bear is just being a bear, and isn't attacking us, then if we respect the bear, we accept it for who and what it is.
~It's not trying to dominate us, and we're not trying to dominate, judge, boss, hurt, or shame the bear. That's "respect".

If a human being is capable of respect, then he or she would be able to apply that SAME respect for the Grizzly Bear to a wild Rabbit in their back yard.
If they're capable of respect, they will treat the tall man in a suit who comes into their store the same way they treat the small elderly lady, or the young man with tattoos, or the young woman with purple hair. And if those customers are capable of respect, they will all treat the store clerk the same way they would treat the owner of that store, and the police officer in the parking lot, and all of the other customers.

Judging another person about whether they "deserve" my respectful treatment and manners or not means that I'm judging them based on my own biases, assumptions, and emotions, and that I'm putting the responsiblity of MY ACTIONS and MY "VALUES" onto other people, instead of on MYSELF, where it belongs.

If one of those store customers suddenly started treating me or someone else with disrespect, speaking or acting rudely, then my opinion of them will probably take a nosedive. But it won't change my overall manner, and it definitely won't change my values. That person would LOSE my respect for them, but if they hadn't behaved DISrespectfully toward another person, that wouldn't have even been a thought.
(And if that person is a youth, I won't lose "respect" for them, I'll probably just feel bad for them that they haven't been taught how to treat other people and conduct themselves.)

A person can LOSE REAL respect from another by treating other people with contempt or condescension.  But "not respecting" them in the first place for superficial things about them is just being judgmental and superior.